John Keats
When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be (1848)


When I have fears that I may cease to be


Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,


Before high piled books, in charact’ry,


Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;


When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,


Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,


And think that I may never live to trace


Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;


And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!


That I shall never look upon thee more,


Never have relish in the faery power


Of unreflecting love!--then on the shore


Of the wide world I stand alone, and think


Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.